On May 24, radio host and University of Michigan football announcer Frank Beckmann decided to take to The Detroit News to weigh in on Sergio Garcia's "fried chicken" comments about Tiger Woods. This didn't prove wise, because Beckmann came off as dumb, insensitive, and/or racist, which are generally bad things to be when you talk for a living. His argument was that we shouldn't be upset Garcia made a blatantly racist fried chicken joke because there's no way Garcia knew that a fried chicken joke would be offensive to blacks, and blacks should actually celebrate fried chicken anyway because their slave ancestors were able to stay alive by eating it since Massa rarely shared his ham, and Beckmann's German mom made a mean Rouladen, and our outrage is largely due to the ongoing pussification of America, or something:
What the Spanish golfer – wonder if he favors paella? – didn’t realize is that fried chicken was once a popular dish among American slaves who were not allowed to own livestock and couldn’t avail themselves of other southern delicacies like steak and ham.
To the politically correct, the mention of fried chicken is an immediate endorsement of slavery rather than a testament to the innovative determination of the American slave population to improve its own physical wellbeing by creating a readily available dish which improved their diet.
Making fried chicken and popularizing it could thus be viewed as an accomplishment that should serve as a testament to the determination of a group of people who found an inventive way to subsist while enduring unimaginable and deplorable living conditions.
But that would remove the opportunity of the political elite to capitalize by creating an atmosphere of victimization.
The controversy, like all those created by the politically correct, comes down to interpreting the connection of historical events – abhorrent as some like slavery, are – to current day custom and the melting pot that is America.
Anyway, at some point after his column was published, he or someone close to him realized that the column was dumb and insensitive and racist, and therefore people would think that Beckmann was dumb and insensitive and racist, and that Beckmann should apologize. So he did. He walked his column back yesterday after five days of holding strong. Better late, etc.
Many then wondered when the University of Michigan would also issue a statement. After all, the only thing worse than being perceived as dumb and insensitive and racist is being an institution that's perceived as OK with being represented by dumb and insensitive and racist people.
They finally did today:
The column by Frank Beckmann in the May 24 Detroit News does not represent the views or values of the University of Michigan community. His comments were offensive and inaccurate.
At the University of Michigan we strive at all times, in all ways, to create a campus that is open and inclusive and free from insidious racial stereotypes. This is a core value.
Of course, we would've been happy if Michigan got in front of this whole situation, since the ridiculous column has been out and talked about for nearly a week now. But it's cool.
Photo Credit: Getty
h/t to Amp